“I am the milkman of human kindness, I will leave an extra pint”. But not today; try Dover beach if you want me being nice.
In this strange shadowy incestuous world of the blogosphere, it is hard sometimes to remember that there’s an outside world, and even otherwise well-informed and intelligent people find the banter somewhat confusing.
In this case the offending item is a tweet of mine, and I keep forgetting that Twitter forwards my tweets to fb, where people not in the know may actually read them. And the offending words are:
This definitely wins tweet of the month, and quite possibly of-the-year. https://t.co/EAvQJqPLkI
— William Connolley (@wmconnolley) September 23, 2017
The parties to this are James Annan (Il buono) and Judith A. Curry (il1 cattivo, then, I suppose she must be). Astute perusal of those links will show that I’m not entirely unbiased in this matter, but in counterpoint to that, I am right. The particular bit of banter ran:
Quite why Curry was dumb enough to think that argument-from-authority in the shape of her CV was going to win her any points will just have to remain one of those mysteries. Also, it looks to me as though her CV needs an update; it claims she is still a Prof, but I think she’s Ex and even she says she’s heading for Emeritus.
As an introduction-for-the-uninitiated to Curry, I find that I don’t have much to add to the link above: She is suffering – uninterestingly – from having nowhere to go. Her scientific papers are of no interest but she is, by now, accustomed to a role in the “scientific debate”. With nothing to say on the “light side” she is inevitably left talking to the dark side. Somewhat like Richard Lindzen. Whereas James can run faster than me.
The immeadiate issue is the Red Team nonsense. There’s something of interest there, because Trump-or-the-GOP are kinda keen to splash out and buy themselves some rentaclimatologists, and there are plenty for sale, but obviously they don’t want the cheap tarnished ones they want some with at least a surface veneer, and there aren’t many of those on the market. Is Curry on the market? She’s now an ex-prof and still, achingly, not-really-famous. I think James has it close to right when he says now she’s obviously been tapped up for membership of the “team”, it’s finally dawned on her that she’d have to work with a bunch of crazies and losers who have no idea what the hell they are talking about. What hasn’t dawned on her yet, is that that’s where she belongs. The bit that’s missing is something I find hard to put into words. Perhaps the idea of an auction, or biding one’s time. Sell yourself too early, and you’re just one of the forgettable cannon fodder. Wait too long and it’s all over. Trump, despite all his pro-coal rhetoric and pulling-out-of-Paris hasn’t showered boondoggles on the “skeptics” and they must be feeling disappointed. Probably the case is that Trump-et-al aren’t really interested in having an scientific advisors on their executive team; there aren’t really any spare places. After all, a scientific advisor is only going to use long words that Trump doesn’t understand, and why would he want that? He already knows what he wants – he wants whatever is running through his head that moment, another bad feature of a science advisor is that they might have a memory and be impolitic enough to use it – so he doesn’t need a scientific advisor he needs, well, a snake-oil saleman I suppose.
1. Or “lo cattiva”, perhaps, as one of my somewhat more linguistically astute friends points out via fb.